So, Autumn is fully with us.
The winds are still quite warm, but we have had a procession of storms over the last few days, interspersed with the odd burst of golden sunshine.
And the garden has given it’s last harvest. A few beans and some beetroot. Michaela planted some winter crops of spuds, onions and garlic- but we won’t see anything from these until next spring.
The hens continue to give us three eggs a day, but they are smaller- as the nights draw in, they are less active. Hens do not have good eyesight, and so they take themselves off to bed at dusk. Safely tucked up into their roost.
Autumn is sad season. Everything is becoming less. Everything is old and worn. And the survivors steel themselves for the harshness to come.
Even we humans, who are largely disconnected from the natural world that feeds us, are affected. We are different animals as the temperatures fall and the light disappears.
All the more reason, I reckon, to be thankful for the harvest.
To mark the time of gathering in and storing up.
A time to remember the grace still present in the resting soil, waiting and storing up energy for the year to come.
It is perhaps useful to recall the Celtic way of thinking about time- as a circle, rather than linear. The circle of the year begins on the 31st of October after the festival of Samhain or ‘Summers end’. The first period of the new year is Samonios, or ‘seed fall’, with the promise that out of darkness will come renewal, and a turning again of the circle.